Trudy lived at Shepherd’s Field off and on during her teen years while undergoing plastic surgery to treat burns on her face and hands. She was not an orphan but still needed medical care and vocational training. Philip Hayden Foundation became extended family to Trudy, offering support and encouragement when she began to look for her first job. Her dream was to work in a restaurant. Trudy returned to PHF in 2019 at the age of 18 for help in finding a job. Trudy shares, “I was so excited and full of happiness. I felt like I was home.”
Holding a job provides more than income. It also offers a connection to other people and a sense of belonging. These are crucial to long-term flourishing. Trudy was very nervous as she began the job search with the help of Teacher Wang. She vividly remembers the discouragement as business after business said, “do not hire her – it will affect our business.” Trudy was so thankful for Teacher Wang, who continued to encourage her and remind her of her capabilities. The support of a mentor was crucial for Trudy during this daunting process.
Finally, Trudy found a restaurant looking for a dishwasher, and they agreed to give Trudy a chance. Trudy remembers her fears, “The day I found it, I was very happy, excited and hesitant. I’m afraid I can’t do well in this first job in my life. But with their [PHF staff’s] encouragement and reminding me, ‘this is like what you do at home. As long as you work hard, the hotel owner will know.‘” Trudy worked there until 2021, when she returned to her hometown to help her mother. Your donations can help other young women like Trudy find work and live independently.